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Science Committee Republicans Oppose Reckless, Partisan Spending Bill

Sep 9, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Today, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas released a statement criticizing the massive, partisan reconciliation package forced through the Committee today on a party-line vote.

“The $45.5 billion in spending in this bill isn’t about sustainably or strategically funding research and development,” Lucas said. “We’re throwing money at agencies with almost no direction on how it is to be spent. Worse, this bill undercuts the valuable work this Committee has done to increase our investments in science and technology, expand clean energy, and increase American competitiveness. We’ll throw away our deliberate, strategic approach for long-term growth in favor of this one-time spending spree. While I appreciate that some Republican amendments were included to improve this underlying legislation, far too many priorities were rejected. The result is a deeply flawed, reckless package.”

Democrats opposed a number of commonsense amendments to improve the bill and bring it back in line with long-held bipartisan Committee priorities, including:

  • Restarting Research:
    • An amendment by Ranking Member Lucas to restart the research work that’s been stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restarting our research work requires investment, and it’s long overdue. This amendment opposed by the Democrats today is based on the bipartisan RISE Act, and would have reallocated almost $3 billion of the $45.5 billion this bill provides to support research recovery.
  • All-of-the-Above Clean Energy Technology:
    • An amendment by Ranking Member Lucas to promote an all-of-the-above approach to clean energy by adding nuclear, hydrogen, and fossil demonstration projects to the list of renewable technologies eligible for energy demonstration funding.
  • No Funding without Policy Direction:
    • An amendment by Ranking Member Lucas that prohibits any NSF funding from being used to establish a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation. The bipartisan NSF for the Future Act would create a new directorate, fund it, and provide critical policy direction. Funding it prematurely, before structural and policy disagreements can be negotiated with the Senate, would undercut this critical Science Committee legislation.
  • U.S. Leadership in Space:
    • An amendment by Rep. Brian Babin to prioritize both human space exploration and NASA infrastructure.
  • Developing Advanced Semiconductors:
    • Amendments by Reps. Jim Baird and Jake Ellzey to address American competitiveness and the global chips shortage by allocating funding at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for research and development work on semiconductors authorized in the bipartisan CHIPS Act.
  • Addressing Soaring Inflation:
    • An amendment by Rep. Young Kim to address the growing problem of inflation by directing the NSF to fund a $1 million study on the impact of inflation on Americans and the U.S. economy.
  • Combating the Threat from Communist China:
    • An amendment by Rep. Mike Garcia to protect American research and competitiveness by prohibiting funding to entities controlled by the People's Republic of China and to research occurring in the People's Republic of China.
    • An amendment by Rep. Michael Waltz to protect American research and competitiveness by prohibiting funding to entities controlled by the People's Republic of China and to research occurring in the People's Republic of China.

A full list of amendments is available here.

117th Congress